UNITED STATES v. MARTINEZ-FUERTE

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Case Basics
Docket No. 
74-1560
Petitioner 
United States
Respondent 
Martinez-Fuerte
Consolidation 
No. 75-5387
Tags
Term:
Facts of the Case 

Martinez-Fuerte and others were charged with transporting illegal Mexican aliens. They were stopped at a routine fixed checkpoint for brief questioning of the vehicle's occupants on a major highway not far from the Mexican border.

Question 

Do such stops violate the Fourth Amendment's proscription against unreasonable searches and seizures?

Conclusion 
Decision: 7 votes for United States, 2 vote(s) against
Legal provision: Amendment 4: Fourth Amendment

No, because if there is a reasonable collective suspicion, then individuals can be searched in the interest of public safety. Justice Lewis F. Powell, Jr., writing for the 7-to-2 majority, said: "The defendants note correctly that to accommodate public and private interests some quantum of individualized suspicion is usually a prerequisite to a constitutional search or seizure.... But the Fourth Amendment imposes no irreducible requirement of such suspicion."

Prepared by Michael Brandow.

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UNITED STATES v. MARTINEZ-FUERTE. The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. 25 November 2014. <http://www.oyez.org/cases/1970-1979/1975/1975_74_1560>.
UNITED STATES v. MARTINEZ-FUERTE, The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, http://www.oyez.org/cases/1970-1979/1975/1975_74_1560 (last visited November 25, 2014).
"UNITED STATES v. MARTINEZ-FUERTE," The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, accessed November 25, 2014, http://www.oyez.org/cases/1970-1979/1975/1975_74_1560.